Trust When the Challenge Is Overwhelming
Open Your Bible
Exodus 3:7-12, Exodus 33:12-23, Psalms 90:1-2, Proverbs 3:1-6
BY Guest Writer
What is your promised land? We all have one deep inside us. The roadmap of our hearts leads us there, to the place where our treasure is found—the place where our hope, wonder, and worship reside.
God had promised to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and bring them to a new home, a land of freedom and abundance. But His bigger promise was this: He would bring them back into relationship with Him, back into His presence. He would dwell among the Israelites and be their God (Exodus 29:45–46).
But God’s people put all of that in jeopardy by building the golden calf and inciting God’s anger with their idol worship. Now, they were set to experience separation from Him again. Yes, He would still bring them into the Promised Land, but He would not accompany them there (Exodus 33:1–3). Because of their sin, Israel could not be in God’s presence—but Moses could. “The Lord would speak with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend” (v.11), and so on behalf of the Israelites, Moses pleaded with God to reconsider:
“If your presence does not go… don’t make us go up from here.
How will it be known that I and your people have found favor with you
unless you go with us?” (vv.15–16).
Moses knew what was really at stake for the Israelites: the true promised land, God Himself. Moses knew that God is not merely a means to an end, not just a path to blessing. God is the blessing, and His presence was the very identity of His people. If He wasn’t in the new land, then there was no point in going. Without Him, there would be no real blessing, no peace, no rest. You see, in confronting Pharaoh for the release of God’s oppressed people, Moses had learned that he was not enough; he understood that God’s presence would “be the sign” that He was the one who’d sent them (Exodus 3:11–12).
So what does your promised land look like? Where do you go when you’re overwhelmed, and who do you ultimately trust?
Mine looks like a land of abundant provision and unity, free from shame and fear, melancholy, sickness, and loneliness. But Scripture tells me all of these needs and more are met now in God, though He is far more than a means to an end. He is Alpha and Omega, beginning and end—and everything in between (Revelation 22:13).
He doesn’t just provide. He is our provision (Genesis 22:14).
He doesn’t just inspire unity. He is our Triune God, whose very nature is communal (John 17:11–23).
He doesn’t just make us righteous. He is our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).
He doesn’t just give us peace. He is our peace (Judges 6:24; Hebrews 13:20).
He doesn’t just heal us. He is our healing (Exodus 15:26; Isaiah 53:5).
The very real truth is that, if we know Jesus, we are never truly alone. He is always with us (Matthew 1:23; 28:20). And God’s promise to each of His children is this: “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14).
It’s in His attributes that God reveals more of Himself to us—more of His character, His nature, and His heart. Like Moses, we can boldly ask to know more of God, to see more of His glory and His goodness (vv.18–19). This is why God delivered the Israelites, and it’s why He sent His Son to deliver us. God came near so that we could truly know Him and never be separated from His presence again.